Laurier marks this year’s Thrive Week


Three people standing behind a large fruit bowl
Three people standing behind a large fruit bowl
Contributed image

This past week, the Laurier Wellness Centre hosted Thrive Week. 

Thrive Week has been adopted by many post-secondary institutions across Ontario with the aim of strengthening mental health on campuses.   

“I think it’s really important to do something good for your body and for your mind or whatever type of wellness you feel like [is] helping, I think that’s a priority …” Kayla Rischke, a third-year business administration student and peer wellness educator with the Laurier Wellness Centre, said.  

Initiatives surrounding mental wellbeing for student bodies are greatly needed. According to Ontario’s Universities, “The number of students on college and university campuses with identified mental health disabilities has more than doubled over the past five years.”   

“There is definitely a heavy focus on the mental health of university students because there is a lot of pressure on us often…,” Rischke said.   

Thrive officially came to Laurier in 2017 and now runs every Fall and Winter term.  

“I think each year we’ll start gaining more traction and more people will know [Thrive] is going on,” Rischke said.   

In-person events were held on the Waterloo and Brantford campuses for this semester’s Thrive Week, with online and asynchronous options available for accessibility. 

All of these events were aimed the seven dimensions of wellbeing.   

“Whenever we’re planning events with the Wellness Education team … we like to take into consideration all the seven dimensions of wellness; mental, physical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental and vocational … we try and combine at least two or more,” Rischke added.    

Athletic classes were hosted by Laurier Recreation throughout the week. Students were able to drop in on a variety of activities including yoga, rock climbing and glow-in-the-dark cycle fit.   

Thrive provided many food related events. Waterloo students were able to enjoy a free pancake breakfast and a make-your-own trail mix booth. As well as a food justice campus tour that informed participants on food sustainability at Laurier.  

One of the featured events during Thrive week is Fresh Fruit Friday, which also happens weekly on campus. 

“It’s held on the occasional Friday and we hand out fresh fruit to students. This helps us promote physical wellness by improving nutrition,” Rischke said.   

Mental health was addressed through seminars, guest speakers and group initiatives. Workshops on self-care, mindfulness and coping with anxiety were held online, as well as an intro-level suicide intervention workshop.   

“I think it’s really beneficial for students to know what to do if they’re in a situation where they know someone or have a friend who is feeling suicidal, or maybe they don’t know that they’re feeling suicidal, but they can look for those clues and know how to help,” Rischke said.    

Haley Perlus, the Fall 2022 Thrive keynote speaker, gave an online lecture regarding mental strength, giving insight into dealing with unexpected, unnecessary and uncontrollable stress.    

As a final take away from Thrive, Rischke added, “I think one thing I would really like students to know … is the importance of taking time out of your day to do something that helps with your wellness and not completely prioritising school … your wellness is more important.”   

The Laurier Student Wellness Centre can be reached at and any feedback surrounding mental health can be submitted through the mental health suggestion box online.

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